MATTOON — Shelby County Junior Legion Post 289/611/725 stumbled out of the starting gate Tuesday at the Mattoon Firecracker Classic, and early mistakes proved to be the difference. Shelby County's four first-inning errors contributed to a five-run opening frame from Moultrie-Douglas County in an eventual 8-2 defeat."I think it was a lot of nerves," Shelby County coach Jim Hutchinson said. "I've got a young team, a lot of kids that haven't played here before."The first-game jitters plagued Shelby County for the better part of six innings, closing with five total errors and eight walks by the pitching staff. The wooden bats were also hard to handle, as Shelby County closed with five hits, two coming in the sixth and final inning."We're not used to playing with wooden bats," Hutchinson said. "We played in one tournament earlier this year, played a doubleheader with them Saturday. It's just the mentality of getting used to playing with the wooden bats." Shelby County left two runners stranded to start the game, but leaving runners on the bags wouldn't be a problem for the opposition. Trevor Moore opened the game with a walk to Daltin Hoel, who reached second of a throwing error from Moore in an attempt to pick off the baserunner.Tommy Watson sent Hoel to third on a bunt single before Nick Bates plated the first Moultrie-Douglas run when a fly ball to right missed a Shelby County glove and fell harmlessly to the field. Zach Bates added a pair with a bases-loaded single to left three batters later to make it a 3-0 game. The final two runs of the first inning were scored off two more Shelby County errors."We always have one bad inning, this time it just had to be the start of the game," Hutchinson said. "That's the difference in the ballgame, they scored right off the bat."The lead was stretched to seven in the third. Moore walked three consecutive batters after getting Griffin Day to ground out to shortstop, closing his day on the hill after allowing six hits over 2.1 innings with two strikeouts and five walks.Nic Hutchinson hit Nick Bates on the first pitch of his relief duty to score a run, and Clayton Turner made it 7-0 with a sacrifice fly to center field.The tables turned on Moultrie-Douglas in the sixth, when Shelby County scored two utilizing a pair of errors. Tristan Warner brought Dylan Ohnesorge home on a ground ball to second that was fumbled and late to first. Trevor Easton sent a ground ball right back to second one batter later, where Dylan Hart again struggled to make the play for Moultrie-Douglas and Jacob Kramer crossed home plate.Held to three hits through the first five innings, Shelby County showed signs of life late, a trait coach Hutchinson said is not foreign to his strong-willed club."This team won't give up," he said. "They've been battling all year. We've had a couple of games where we've been down big and they've come back to make a ballgame out of it, surprised some people. I'll give them credit."Moultrie-Douglas ended the game in the next at-bat when Hart laid down a short grounder that induced a home-plate collision between Luke Armstrong and Shelby County's Kramer. The impact knocked the ball free of Kramer in his attempt to protect the plate for the 8-2 win.Shelby County looked for redemption in the second game of the day against Danville Junior Legion Post 210, but fell victim again to slow start.Danville opened up a 2-0 lead after the first inning, tacking on four more in the fourth en route to a 6-0 win.Shelby County closed with three hits in the second game, a single from Moore and two from Warner.After starting 0-2, Shelby County will look to regroup today against another pair of solid opponents in Rantoul and Macon County. The Rantoul game is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Lake Land College and Macon County will start at 1:15 p.m. at Mattoon High School.
Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem
A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.
Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3
While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
“The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”
Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0
Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.
Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late
Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.
Dieterich Post 628 eliminates Teutopolis Post 924 3-2
Errors proved to be Teutpolis Post 924's undoing against Dieterich Post 628, as Dieterich's sixth-inning rally in an 3-2 win were boosted by three Teutopolis errors
To lead off the sixth, Trenton Poe reached on an error by Brock Bueker, and came around to score on an infield single by Ryan Radloff with a throwing error on Bueker. Poe was already on third when the ball went in the Teutopolis dugout, awarding Poe home to tie the game.
Bryce McClain followed with an RBI single to score Radloff and put Post 628 up for good. Dieterich scored again on a Briar Schmidt groundout where first baseman Brant Bueker tried to get an inning-ending out at second, but the throw was wild and brought home McClain.
Teutopolis, Deters down Altamont Post 512 2-0
TEUTOPOLIS — Lucas Deters didn't get a ton of run support from his Teutopolis Post 924 teammates, but he didn't need much in a complete-game shutout, and Teutopolis ended Altamont Post 512's season with a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon.
Deters' efforts at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament kept Teutopolis alive in the loser's bracket to face Dieterich Post 628 immediately following the win.
Two-out rally pushes Dieterich to win; Post 628 beats Vandalia Post 95 4-3
Down one with two outs and Vandalia Post 95 ace Zach Schaal coming in in relief, Dieterich Post 628 had a tough task to keep its season alive.
But down 3-2, Cole Hartke and Charlie Thoele laced back-to-back singles to score Briar Schmidt and Flach, respectively, to take a 4-3 lead.
Clayton Campton held the lead in the seventh, striking out two and getting Post 95 in order to keep Dieterich's season alive.
Late Newton rally downs Robinson 4-2
Newton Post 20 rarely had an answer for Robinson Post 69's Brayden Burch, but thanks to a few key Robinson errors, Newton took their District 23 opener 4-2 Friday night.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Jansen led off with a walk, followed by Tim Weber reaching on an error by Robinson shortstop Zander Laino and a bunt single by Luke Geier.
Mike Carr came through with a bloop single to center, scoring Jansen to put Newton up 2-1.Burch struck out John Grunloh and Joe Stone, but second baseman Cameron Neese booted a grounder by Mitch Bierman and two more runs scored.
Teutopolis takes down South Central 3-1
Teutopolis Post 924 scored its first run two batters into the game and would never trail from there, holding off late rallies from South Central Post 519 to win 3-1 at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament Friday night.
Post 120 pulls away from Dieterich
A pitcher’s duel between Effingham’s Will Clausius and Dieterich’s Charlie Thoele broke not at the plate, but on the mound.
Tied 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Effingham Post 120 got its first run via a bases-loaded, two out balk. The lead would hold up as Post 120’s offense sparked, and Effingham beat Dieterich Post 628 5-0 in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament opener.
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